Lawmakers seek clarity on WOTUS rule

Evanto Elements

From staff reports

All 50 U.S. Senators have now signed onto a letter requesting that the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspend their current work on the Waters of the U.S. until a ruling is issued by the Supreme Court on whether or not their property can be deemed an official water of the U.S. via the Clean Water Act. 

On Jan. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to try a wetlands case involving an Idaho couple who have been involved in a disagreement with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding their properties’ wetlands. At issue is whether or not the night circuit of appeals followed the protocols for determining that their wetland fell under the Clean Water Act. The wetlands in question are two-thirds of a housing lot where Michael and Chantell Sackett would like to erect a house. 

The lawmakers are wanting the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to provide clear regulations and ensure certainty in any new regulations for landowners. The letter contains language asking the agencies not to exceed regulator authority currently granted under the Clean Water Act. “The limited exclusions and lack of clarity, such as for ditches, prairie potholes, and stock ponds, as well as the failure to define prior converted cropland, are leading concerns for our constituent stakeholders,” they said in the letter.

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